GraphicStock Gallery: 4th of July Backgrounds

by Mallory on June 30, 2014 No comments

GraphicStock Gallery: 4th of July Backgrounds

4th of July is coming up fast! Are you prepared? We pulled together 10 of our favorite 4th of July backgrounds to help you set the foundation for all of your 4th of July graphic design. Celebrate America’s independence with these vector backgrounds. Take a look and then go download them on! Happy downloading!

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Check back all this week for more 4th of July themed graphics from! And don’t forget that you can download them all for free with our 7 day free trial!
GraphicStock Gallery: 4th of July Backgrounds
God bless America!

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MalloryGraphicStock Gallery: 4th of July Backgrounds

GraphicStock Gallery: Summer Fun

by Mallory on June 26, 2014 No comments

GraphicStock Gallery: Summer Fun

SUMMER IS HERE! Woo hoo! GraphicStock is chocked full of bright and happy summer images. Time to rock the shades, flip-flops and a couple Arnold Palmers and get ready for the greatest season of all. The boys of summer are back at and ready to help you out with your summer graphics. Take a look and then head to our summer graphics lightbox to download these all for yourself. You can even sign up for a free 7 day trial!

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Make these images your own! Sign up for a free trial on
GraphicStock Gallery: Summer Fun

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MalloryGraphicStock Gallery: Summer Fun

Creating the “Mad Men” Look Part III

by Mallory on June 22, 2014 No comments

Creating the “Mad Men” Look Part III Smoke and Mirrors

The outside cover of our Mad Men invitation is now complete (see Part I), and the inside (see Part II) is almost there.

Madmen_Front5  Madmen_Inside4

It wouldn’t embody Mad Men, however, without some smoke. The stock smoke texture we liked best was this one, but white smoke on a white background isn’t going to work.

Luckily, the solution is simple: just invert the image and then lower the opacity until you have a nice translucent grey.

Madmen_Inside5 Madmen_Inside6

Download some red pens royalty free from the Graphic Stock library—or add them in Photoshop using its built-in custom shape tool—along with some retro glasses, and the inside of the invitation is complete.

Here’s the final image with a gradient added to show the fold line:

Madmen_Front5    Madmen_Inside7

Creating the “Mad Men” Look Part III

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MalloryCreating the “Mad Men” Look Part III

Creating the “Mad Men” Look Part II

by Mallory on June 21, 2014 No comments

Creating the “Mad Men” Look Part II: A Fixed Record

With the outside cover of our Mad Men invitation completed in Part I, we’re ready to move to the inside.

This martini stock graphic from our library will serve as a good base, but not without some modifications. Drop the busy background and put the image in grayscale (minus the olive and toothpick), and we’re back on theme:

Madmen_Inside1  Madmen_Inside2

Next, let’s add a record vector to balance out the top and pull in our reds—keeping in mind we don’t have to search for the “perfect” image; the stock image of a record we went with was originally very busy, but you’d never know that from the single element we pulled.

Add text, once again in Trade Gothic Bold—and match the red to the record, and we’re getting closer to the finish line.

Madmen_Inside3 Madmen_Inside4

Check back for Part III: Smoke and Mirrors

Creating the “Mad Men” Look Part II

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MalloryCreating the “Mad Men” Look Part II

Creating the “Mad Men” Look Part I

by Mallory on June 20, 2014 No comments

Creating the “Mad Men” Look Part I: Black Tie Optional

Watching the final season of AMC’s Mad Men, we thought we’d pay tribute to its seven-season run with a Mad Men-inspired invitation tutorial.

Our love for Don Draper and friends (enemies), however, is not our only motivation; the show’s iconic 1960s style has become a favored go-to look for graphic designers—for reasons you’ll see below.

To get started, we’re going to need a suit—a 1960s suit. Graphic Stock has no shortage of ready-to-go options for this, of course, but it’s worth knowing how to create this look on your own if you can’t find what you’re looking for in a vector.

It’s really quite easy to flatten and stylize the photograph below, found in its original form here. All it takes is a very rough trace of each selection (shirt, tie, lapels, etc.). Simplistic lines will actually work better here, so don’t worry too much about staying in the lines; just use the pen tool and trace approximately, keeping each element in a separate layer to maximize your options later on.


As soon as the tracing is finished, we can turn each of the layers to solid black and white.


The resulting image is 90 percent there, but the lapels are lost by the black on black—which is why it helps to use separate layers.

Throwing a soft gradient over the lapel layers adds the necessary separation without any unnecessary complication.


Add some text—we’ll go with Trade Gothic Bold to mimic the font from Mad Men—and the cover of our invitation is complete.


Check back for Part II: A Fixed Record and Part III: Smoke and Mirrors

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MalloryCreating the “Mad Men” Look Part I

80’s Trends in Graphic Design

by Mallory on June 16, 2014 2 comments

80’s Trends in Graphic Design

Everything old is new again, and in this case, not that old. Don’t look now, or should I say do look, because the trends and aesthetic of 1980’s and 1990’s graphic design have come back! You can’t keep a good design down, and what follows are insights as to why graphic trends of that era are special and appealing, and a musing on why and how they have returned circa 2014.

Styles like “Neon Noir” and “80’s Deco,” made the ’80’s distinctive. The 90’s weren’t as distinctive as the 80’s, but were arguably as singular and significant, and surely more experimental with the influence of flannel, long hair, grunge music and the “Seattle” style.

Neon Noir

neon noir

Neon Noir visually fused crime-filled streets with designer-filled wardrobes. Bright colors, dark backgrounds and scripted fonts of typography are all staples of this form. Favorite subject matter and source material included palm trees, sports cars, beautiful women and sunsets.

The films “To Live and Die in L.A.,” and “Thief,” and the hit television show “Miami Vice” sported elements of the Neon Noir design style. The movie posters for “Risky Business” and “License to Drive” were quintessential examples of the form.

80’s Deco


A full-blown art deco revival transformed graphic design in the 80’s. This modern design style is called 80’s Deco, and it made its mark not only on graphic trends but also on architecture and interior design. Earmarks of this style are overt angles and curves, and clean, sans-serif fonts.

The opening credits of “Miami Vice,” and renowned designer Razzia’s poster art of a 1936 Bugatti Atlantic automobile were prime proponents of this 80’s style art deco.

Seattle, Grunge, and Other “Subtle” Experiments of the 1990’s


The 90’s were distinguished by design movements with arguably less flash, but equal doses of singularity and distinctiveness. Grunge music burst on the scene in 1991, fueled by the band Nirvana, and the flannel, “Seattle” styles spawned by this cultural wave influenced everything from fashion to design.

The movie poster for the film “Singles,” and the film itself, visually and aesthetically covered this territory. So did Nirvana’s album designs, rave flyers and the Starbuck’s Coffee logo.

Back to the Future

So why is the current graphic design scene dotted with these visual ornaments of the recent past? Call it nostalgia, retro-thinking or just the fact that most everything is cyclical in the broad scheme of time. And if the designs stand the test of time, why not?

You can find royalty-free graphics of the 80’s and 90’s at


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Mallory80’s Trends in Graphic Design

GraphicStock Gallery: Father’s Day

by Mallory on June 12, 2014 No comments

GraphicStock Gallery: Father’s Day

Happy Father’s Day to all the dads out there! Check out this gallery of Father’s Day images from Don’t just get your dad a tie or a sports coat this year, personalize your message with these vector images. All of these and way more are available for royalty-free download, allowing you to use them forever! Pick one up for yourself and show Dad just how much you care!

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Want to get these images for free? Go to and sign up for a free 7 day trial! Happy downloading!
GraphicStock Gallery: Father’s Day

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MalloryGraphicStock Gallery: Father’s Day

Graduation Gallery

by Mallory on June 5, 2014 No comments

Graduation Gallery

It’s graduation season! Show your favorite graduate that you care and are proud of their progress. Those four (or more) years are really quite difficult- luckily these vector graphic images are really quite simple. If you have any vector editing program such as CorelDraw or Adobe Illustrator your all set! Celebrate your favorite graduate with one of these images from You can download them for free when you sign up for a seven day free trial.

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You can download all of these images from our Graduation Gallery Lightbox! And don’t forget to sign up for a 7 day free trial!
Graduation Gallery

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MalloryGraduation Gallery

How To Pick Images for Facebook Ads

by Mallory on June 4, 2014 No comments

Facebook mobile is a booming business, with high conversion rates. But your success hinges on finding the right image. Here’s what to look for on GraphicStock in order to win big with Facebook mobile:

1. Bright Colors With No Text

Bright Colors from GraphicStock

Facebook itself notes in its public Q&A that a “simple, eye-catching image that is related to your ad text” is recommended. But remember, this image is going to appear on devices as small as two x four inches. What is eye-catching on an object the size of cracker? The answer is: bright colors. Reds, oranges, yellow, bold greens: these are the colors that stand out in a small space. Remember that as you design your image, and try to resist the urge to put text on the image. You can’t read the text when it is that small anyway, and Facebook doesn’t allow more than 20% of the image to contain text. 

2. The Right Shape

Content by Shape

The science on shapes and brain perception is fascinating: basically, the brain gives meanings to shapes even before it processes what the shape represents. Think of an orange circle set behind a curved line. Your brain processes that as a rising sun without even trying. Use shape perception to convey meaning in your ad. You can even search for graphic content by shape, so that you build on your brainstorming with the right creatives.

3. The Setting of the Ad

Blank White Road Sign Isolated on White

Go take a look at where the ad will run in Facebook. Look at Facebook’s own design and color palette: blue, white, grey, squares, more squares, red circles for notices. Make sure your content doesn’t look like that. Too many people focus on getting their ad just right in terms of reflecting the brand, the image, and the message of their organization; they completely forget where the ad is going to go! If you put an ad on a billboard in Siberia, you wouldn’t use all white images. Remember that the virtual setting has real color and shape values to it.

With these three tips, you should easily be able to wisely select some useful images on Graphicstock to help you max your Facebook ad potential. Take your time, test your design, and don’t hesitate to change things up if it doesn’t work well right away. That’s the fun of experimenting in these innovative tools and techniques!

Want to use these images in your ads? Pick them up from free at

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MalloryHow To Pick Images for Facebook Ads

The Do’s and Don’ts of Using Filters

by Mallory on June 2, 2014 No comments

The Do’s and Don’ts of Using Filters

Thanks to Instagram, filters have become extremely popular with digital photography. Nearly everyone who has some experience with photos and graphic design seems to be using filters. Sometimes these effects are breathtaking; sometimes using filters is a mistake. This isn’t a big deal if you’re working with personal photos and graphics. However, if you’re using filters in stock photos, there are some tips you should keep in mind before giving in to the urge to use a filter.

Instagram Filter Cameras

Use Filters Like Makeup

Filters should always be used sparingly. You should never use a filter just because you can. The right filter can make a photo, but the wrong filter can make an otherwise gorgeous photo turn into a major eyesore. Filters are meant to enhance a photo, not distract from it. If the filter is the most noticeable aspect of the photo, you probably should choose a different filter, or not use a filter at all.

Avoid Popular Filters

It’s tempting to emulate something you like, but there’s always a cascade effect. When photographers see a type of filter they like, they tend to want to try out using that filter right away. Save these experiments for personal projects. When designers use filters en masse, the filter can cause the photograph to turn into a cliche. This is the worst kind of fate possible for a stock photo.

Never Overuse a Filter

Every designer has succumbed to this tendency at one time, or another. It’s easy to find a filter you like and then use it every chance you get. This can be worse than using popular filters. If lots of your stock photos feature the same filter, people will definitely notice. It’s not interesting if every photograph you take ends up with the same “feel”.

Experiment with Filters

If you’re not sure about using a filter, you may want to try out several versions of an image. Use several filters with the same photo. Observe the differences that the filters elicit, and view the photo without any filters. By doing this, you’ll learn by experience what works with certain types of stock photos, and what doesn’t.

Filters are frequently used with graphics, but filters can also be used in video. There are many videos out there on sites like Vine and other similar venues that contain filters. It may be helpful to check out these sites, and sites containing stock graphics to see what others are doing with filters. This can provide you with an abundant supply of inspiration. You’ll see for yourself what works, and what doesn’t. The biggest point to remember is not to rely on a filter to make your video or photo a masterpiece. Filters are meant to enhance, not to distract viewers from photos or videos with composition issues.

Want to experiment with some royalty-free images of your own? Click here for a 7-Day free trial of 

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MalloryThe Do’s and Don’ts of Using Filters